Micheal Jordan Speaks Out On Racial Strife

All time NBA great Micheal Jordan addressed the ongoing spate of police shootings of unarmed black men and the violent retaliatory responses of some African Americans to those shootings.
After spending most of his career avoiding controversial topics as they related to race and politics Jordan felt compelled to speak out and show support for both sides of the apparent conflict between Police officers and African Americans throughout the country.
Micheal Jordan issued his statement through the site, “The Undefeated” and it read as follows:

As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported

“Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.

“To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Institute for Community-Police Relations’ policy and oversight work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing. My donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s oldest civil rights law organization, will support its ongoing work in support of reforms that will build trust and respect between communities and law enforcement. Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference.

“We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country – a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities. The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow, but if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities.”

   Jordan managed to put his money where his mouth is with separate donations of one million dollars each to the NAACP legal defense fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police Institute For Community-Police Relations.
While applauding Jordan for finally making his voice heard after an entire NBA career of sitting on the fence and making statements like “Republicans buy shoes too” I have to wonder where did this commitment to social justice come from?
Well, look no further than the 2016 ESPY awards sponsored by ESPN. At the start of the show LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade spoke on the violence particularly the shootings by police officers of unarmed African American men in New Orleans and Minnesota.
All of the players were impressive but LeBron James managed to convey a genuine determination to do whatever he could to help in his community but more importantly to inspire other athletes to do the same.
What does this have to do with Micheal Jordan ?
Micheal Jordan more than any other athlete in history has a brand that is unsurpassed in terms of it’s marketing reach and profitability.  Possessing a net worth of over a billion dollars and an NBA team (Charlotte Hornets) the Micheal
Jordan clothing line & shoe sales have literally changed the way people all over the world dress as sport and active wear have become the norm. Throw back Jordan brand shoes cost upwards of 200 dollars even though they are exact replica’s of Micheal’s first Air Jordan’s.
Micheal Jordan is smart and highly successful so he had to notice LeBron’s slow ascent to legendary status as an athlete who wins on the court and off.  A player who will occasionally speak out when injustices occur.
LeBron James accomplished a seemingly impossible task of winning a major sports championship for the state of Ohio. ( His Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2015-16 NBA title). The Cavaliers also made NBA history as the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to win.
But don’t stop there, taking into account what Lebron has accomplished so far in winning three NBA championships It is also worth noting that he has also pledged 41 million dollars to send 1100 Akron Ohio kids to college.
 That’s right, I said 41 million !
So, when LeBron, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony stood on that stage and vowed to follow in the footsteps of Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell and Muhammad Ali one has to wonder just how did Micheal Jordan feel about these events and more importantly, his own place in history.
Micheal has endured some criticism through the years for what some perceive as a profit above all else approach but M J  has a solid record regarding charitable contributions. However, for the first time Micheal Jordan has decided to offer his opinion on a controversial topic.
Could it be that Micheal Jordan has finally found his social voice while risking an image that has been carefully crafted and nurtured through the years?
Or……
Could it be that Micheal can see the slow erosion of his brand and or market share?  Only time will tell but one thing is certain.
Considering the state of ever increasing violence in this country one can’t really complain about any athlete trying to contribute to the cause no matter the motive.
Moving forward though it will be interesting to see just how far LeBron James will go and to what degree will his candor regarding social issues expand.
Article reprinted courtesy of The Remnant Magazine@yahoo.com

Dr.Kings Memorial…A Must See

 

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I just got around to visiting the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington DC.
While always planning to go I never got around to it even while acknowledging the  initiative it must have taken took to complete a project that was long overdue.
President Obama has achieved a lot during his short tenure in office but the Dr. King Memorial along with the much anticipated African American History museum will go a long ways in cementing a formidable legacy. ( I’m not certain it would have gotten done with out him).
The entire experience of visiting D.C. is impressive just from the standpoint of appreciating the history associated with all of the historical sites including the White house, The Capitol, The Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Memorial etc.
However, visiting the Dr, King Memorial served to drive home just how impactful and overdue this effort really is and how it so belongs along side all of the others.
Up to this point I had only newspapers and magazines photos to rely on and I was unaware as to how large an area was carved out to pay homage to one of the giants.
The site itself is facing the tidal basin across from the Jefferson Memorial.
It is a massive block of granite with Dr. Kings image carved out of it.  That was the image I was accustomed to but what I didn’t know was there were two other sections of stone which gave the impression that Dr. King was actually separated from a mountain.
The inscription serves to drive home this point:
” OUT OF THE MOUNTAIN OF DESPAIR, A STONE OF HOPE”.
To each side of the memorial are marble walls that showcase passages from some of Dr. Kings speeches.
My favorite:
“DARKNESS CANNOT DRIVE OUT DARKNESS ONLY LIGHT CAN DO THAT.  HATE CANNOT DRIVE OUT HATE ONLY LOVE CAN DO THAT”
                                                                                  1963

Harry E. Johnson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the memorial foundation, added these words in a letter posted on the memorial’s website:

The King Memorial is envisioned as a quiet and peaceful space. Yet drawing from Dr. King’s speeches and using his own rich language, the King Memorial will almost certainly change the heart of every person who visits. Against the backdrop of the Lincoln Memorial, with stunning views of the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial, the Memorial will be a public sanctuary where future generations of Americans, regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation, can come to honor Dr. King.[
One cannot come away from this memorial with any feeling other than one of respect for this visionary who was at equal times prophetic, spritual, metaphysical and selfless.
You could do a lot worse than paying a visit to Dr.Martin Luther Kings Memorial, that is, If you happen to be in the area.

The Time Is Right To Trade Jimmy Butler

Many thought the Bulls would move Jimmy Butler during the 2016 NBA draft due to his value and potential to bring in a combination of top picks and established players.
The Bulls inactivity led most to believe that it was time to build around Jimmy Butler going forward but then something happened.
1. The Bulls acquired Rajon Rondo. On the surface it would seem reasonable given the Derrick Rose trade and the need for a point guard.
However Rondo presents with a couple of challenges for Jimmy Butler since he is at equal points a ball dominating guard, a poor outside shooter and an alpha male in the locker room.
The trading of Derrick seemingly alleviated a leadership log jam between Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose so what do we do? We bring in an Alpha dog in Rajon Rondo.
Some had envisioned the Bulls becoming the Houston Rockets 2.0 featuring Jimmy and the shooters. Let’s see Butler 31.2% from the three, Rajon Ronda 36.5% from the three, could we be witnessing a shift from Hoi-ball (Bulls head coach Fred Hoiburg) to something else entirely different?
  And what does that mean for shooters Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic’ ?
 Well the Bulls could:
Trade Jimmy Butler to Boston for their # 3 pick which turned out to be Jaylen Brown from the University of California and two number one picks.
A possible starting line-up could be Rondo, Brown, Dunleavy, Gibson and Lopez.
Reserves ? Valentine, McDermott, Mirotic’, Calderon and Felicio.
Those moves would leave the Bulls flexible and competitive….As it stands now this team misses the playoffs again this year and the next.
Bulls fans, the iron is hot.

Random Thoughts And LeBron.

Random thoughts while in route to Cleveland;

27 points 11 assist and 11 rebounds in a game 7 ?   What player does LeBron James really remind you of?

See photo above.

Is it possible that LeBron could re-frame the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) argument from one that only really considers scoring as the most meaningful criteria ?

Could getting J.R a championship ring be bigger than say coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA finals ?

The looks on the faces of Cleveland fans during game 4 of the finals only drove home the level of despair and hopelessness felt by them for 50 odd years. The fear and tension was thick enough to cut with a knife.

One of the single shrewdest moves of recent history was LeBron James goading Draymond Green into the crotch blow that changed the series and to drive home the point LeBron adroitly repeated to the media (and NBA commissioner Adam Silver) how Draymond insulted him, a man with a wife and three children.

The resultant suspension altered the entire flow of the series and the upset was on…..Absolutely brilliant!

Dear Draymond, an ” It was my fault” will not suffice.

By refusing to go small the Cavaliers did what OKC started but failed to finish and forced the Warriors to (unsuccessfully) adjust to the obvious size deficiency. The Warriors will have to shore up their size in the middle to support the oft-injured Andrew Bogut going forward. ( Bulls free agent center Pau Gasol would be a good fit).

Now that the ( Cleveland championship) curse has been broken it is not inconceivable to see LeBron James winning another 3 or 4 NBA titles at which time the greatest player of all time discussions will heat up yet again.

By the way:

How far do you think a young Micheal Jordan would have gotten with LeBron’s first team in Cleveland?

Just sayin.